Himeji castle designated as a World Cultural Heritage. The castle resembles the shape of a heron with spread wings.
Himeji Castle is located in Himeji City in the western Hyogo. It was constructed in the mid-14th century, and a three-layer castle tower was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century. Ikeda Terumasa, a feudal Lord of the castle remodelled it in the 17th century. Its figure was likened to a white heron spreading wings, and thus also called White Heron Castle. It was designated as a national treasure in 1931, and the World Cultural Heritage in 1993.
The Tenshukaku (castle tower) is the main structure and has five stories in appearance but six stories inside and a first basement. All the structures are covered with white plaster unique to Japan. The roofs are covered with kawara tiles and white plaster was applied to the joints. Its magnificent structure and elegant appearance, as well as complex and tactical defense devices make the castle the most prominent castle in Japan.
The castle hosts the Himeji Castle Cherry Blossom Viewing Fair, cherry blossom viewing drum music performance and Princess Sen-hime Peony Festival in spring, Himeji Castle Festival in summer, Moon Viewing Fair and Himeji Ceramics Market in autumn. Visitors can enjoy the city throughout the year. In the area, a Japanese garden Koko-en, an affinity with the Castle, and Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History, are something you cannot miss. On Mt.Shosha, a 1,000 year old temple where a Hollywood movie "The Last Samurai"(2003) was shot.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 3hrs 10 min from Tokyo to Himeji Station by JR Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen
From Osaka :
[Rail] 1h from Osaka to Himeji Station by JR Sanyo Line (special rapid service).